The Desk Saga…

March 23, 2008

I need a computer desk in my room (so that, if for no other reason, I have somewhere to put all the books that are currently on my bedside table and get knocked off everytime my alarm goes off in the morning!). Consequently, last week, I purchased a computer desk from ACE homestore (a lot like B and Q for those in the UK). That in itself involved more Spanish than I really speak as I needed to get the desk I wanted, pay for it, get it put aside for later, then go back and pick it up and get it into the taxi! I managed, just. It is a flat pack desk that requires assembly at home. I have done similar things before so I wasn’t worried…


Like my dad taught me the first thing I did was get all the pieces out of the box and sorth them. At this point I made my first mistake. Rather than go through the entire list of pieces I did the teacher thing of counting them (18 pieces) and then looking at the instructions (18 pieces).

desk-2.jpg desk-3.jpg

I was pleasantly surprised by the tools supplied with the desk – I’ve never had flatpack come with a screwdriver and spanner before, and before long I was happily following the diagrams in the instructions. Each piece of desk had a sticker with a part number on it and the same number used in the diagrams so it was very straightforward to start with. Soon I had the makings of a nice desk! It was at this point I noticed that 2 pieces had the same number stuck to them. On further investigation I found that this was indeed correct, and I was missing part number 18. A small, but pivotal piece. I stopped work at this point and was mildly cross! I tried emailing ACE, but had no reply. Probably because I’d written in English!


I decided that my best bet was to go back to ACE (which is in Jockey Plazza – a new, large, shopping mall about half an hour’s taxi ride away) at some point with the receipt and the instructions and try to obtain piece number 18. This I did – I have no idea what the woman in the shop kept asking me, but I looked stupid (not difficult) and repeated ‘numero 18 no es en la caja’ until a nice young man took me to the back of the shop and opened one of the boxes to get me piece number 18. I was slightly disappointed with how small and insignificant it looked after all the trouble it had caused me!



Full of new hope I recommenced work on the desk. It had looked so simple in the shop, but it has obviously been designed by a dim-wit who has never actually put together a single item of flat-pack in his life! 4 holes have been drilled at a place where it is IMPOSSIBLE to get a screw in because they hit the piece above them when you try (never mind being able to get a screwdeiver to them!) and a couple of places were too tight for the screwdriver they supplied to work. On top of that not all of the holes lined up properly so it was very difficult to get the screws in properly. Very soon I felt like throwing the whole lot out of the window, but after some basic tool design on my part (remember that time when you did moments in physics and could’t see the point? All becomes clear now eh?!) and a bit of settling for it being shoddy workmanship in places, I had finished! I’m not sure it was worth the effort really, but it is a LOT better than nothing!



I have NEVER had so much trouble with flat pack furniture before. Maybe this is what happens when the people that design the furiture have handymen to put them together! I need some bookshelves too. I’m thinking that I’ll be a LOT more choosey about the ones I get this time, and probably won’t be shopping at ACE…



  1. Strangely, I’ve also been having issues with flatpack furniture this weekend, although so far it seems that I have all the pieces. My major issue was getting the firm to actually deliver the stuff in the first place!

    Anyway, two out of three units (desk and filing unit) are assembled, and the third unit awaits some creative modification to make it fit in the boat…

    Best of luck with your bookshelves!

  2. Looking at that last photo, the one thing that came to mind was
    ‘Are you sure it’s supposed to look like that?’

    Plus I’m a little dissappointed that you didn’t see the point of moments earlier…..

  3. Joe – it’s not supposed to look quite like that – there is supposed to be a ‘keyboard tray’ that attaches to the left hand part of the desk. It was too fiddly so I couldn’t be bothered to build it as I only have laptops so won’t need it! The right hand bit swivels in and out so it takes up less space when you’re not using it.

  4. iya miss.
    looks like your having fun, with the classroom zoo and all!
    k, bye 🙂

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